inspire.

While I wait patiently for the plaster to dry in our living room, I’m dreaming away looking for inspiration in rooms that are ‘coastal’ inspired without making you feel you’re actually in a beach hut, sand and all.

 

Shake things up in your living room by choosing mismatched pieces that are united by a common theme. In this case, it’s sea blues and nautical decorative elements.

 

Without the pops of cobalt blue, this smart seating area’s neutral tones would feel a little washed out. Fun patterned pillows with drapery and flowers to match don’t take the focus off the main event, the wraparound water view from the windows.

 

I’m having to think outside the box a little – push my creative limits.  Originally, I knew exactly what I wanted.  And I wanted blue.

Throw in some stripes and you have yourself some seriously relaxed coastal vibes.  The problem was that when I went to Dunelm Mill to get some curtains I was so overwhelmed by its’ enormity that I just walked around and around….And around in a daze.  Eventually I found myself standing in front of some really pretty curtains the right size.  When I got them home i noticed they were more of a really really soft teal than blue.

So instead of this….

Decorating With Blue

I need to start thinking in terms of this…

http://beachroseramblings.blogspot.co.uk

www.homesandbargains.co.uk

Though initially deterred I’m now refocused.  This is totally doable.  I’m thinking less (of teal) is more, and lots of white.

www.funkyartqueen.blogspot.co.uk

 

Beachy Elegance

 

www.designshuffle.com

 

I reckon I don’t need to depend on the colour though.  Of all the pictures I looked at this  – this last one was the most powerful.  Its’ use of texture convinces you that there’ll be sand-dunes beyond that window.  I’m in love with that mirror on the fireplace AND that small table!  The pebbles on the hearth remind me of my own memories of collecting treasures from the beach.

 

An extra-large cushioned space for lounging adds a quiet elegance to this simplistic living area. Organic extras such as the driftwood coffee table and decorative beach stones have a natural coastal charm.

 

So now I’m inspired I just have to make it happen.  And on a shoestring.

 

(All images that do not have a source immediately below are from www.coastalliving.com)

Advertisements

walls.

The upheaval for the week ahead has begun.  The fire surround is off and room empty bar the two sofas and the TV.  It is the England match this evening after all.

 

I know. Lovely right?

 

Tomorrow the walls will be plastered and the room will pretty much stay as it is until the decorating fairies come to paint the walls.

I want my walls to turn out nice.  I want my home to be nice.  But being in God’s house this morning reminded me that, of course, I can enjoy expressing myself in decorating my house but my heart beats for something so much bigger, higher and greater than that.

clean children, chocolate and empty living rooms

Phew! What a week.  The Husband took a work trip to the Isle of Man and so I needed to really pull it out the bag.  My mum was here for the first part so I was able to ease into my independent-I-can-totally-do-this mode.  And by the grace of God I did! I managed to keep the girls alive – no, more than that – I managed to keep them fed and clean moderately clean.  I do reckon though, the only way I’d ever survive single motherhood would be to go to bed at the same time as my girls.

Ordinarily I would have kept it low key with the plan to accomplaish the bare minimum.  However, I needed some shorts for my physio session this week because I needed to start working on the muscles in my legs.  Problem was that none of my shorts fit me anymore and clothes shopping is not quite as fun when you’ve put a load of weight on – but I had to do it – so I hit the shops before one of the school runs.  My purchase ended up bitter sweet; I found a really cute pair of shorts in GAP for £5.00 – yes £5.00(!!) but to get them over my thunder thighs I had to go up yet another clothes size.  Yey for the GAP bargain, booooooooooooooooooooooo for the bigger size.

If you’re read this blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a stereotypical yo-yo dieter.  At best I start great and lose weight like a champ but somewhere along the road I meet a doughnut.  At worst I meet the Donut the same day as I decide to diet.  And don’t scream at the screen that diets are wrong and that its all about healthy eating, because left to my own devices I will just eat the chocolate.

And having pulled out an old recipe for making the worlds best fudge to put up on my new foodie page I now have a tub full of the stuff in my fridge.

Next week will be so crazy though that even thinking about it is burning calories.  After months of hmmmmmmmms the living room will be prepped tomorrow and plastered on Monday.  That means we The Husband will be clearing the room today while I supervise.  No its ok, he really loves it…

rock buns

My mum’s been over to ours helping out with the girls while The Husband has been off gallivanting on the Isle of Man.  When I chat with my mum conversation often jumps all about the place – and somehow, I really can’t work out the conversation trail that lead up to it, we got onto talking about rock buns. 

These are not my rock buns – I’m way too lazy to go downstairs to get my camera and upload my photos.  image source: www.goodtoknow.co.uk

I’ve not made Rock buns since I was in high school.  It was about the only thing they taught us to make in food tech apart from a sandwich.  I kid you not.  I remember making a couple of batches at home too.  But then life happened and I forgot all about those little pieces of heaven.  Until yesterday when chatting with my mum!  So of course we had to make some just to see if they were as yummy scrummy as we remembered.  And indeed they were.

Rock buns, I think, are a mix of cake and biscuit – not as fluffy and light as a cake but not as crunchy/chewy as a biscuit.  On of the best things about them is that they are so so so easy to make.  The intentional shape of them lends itself perfectly to little hands, where uneven and messy ‘clumps’ of batter/dough on the baking sheet is not just acceptable but required.

The original recipe calls for raisins in the rock buns.  I replaced them with chocolate chips.

I used the Be-Ro recipe (you can find it at http://www.be-ro.com/recipe/showrec5.html) and for that you’ll need:

225 g (8 oz) Self Raising Flour

pinch salt

100 g (4 oz) margarine

75 g (3 oz) mixed dried fruit (I used chocolate chips – and I reckon they’d be amazing with nuts in too!)

25 g (1 oz) mixed peel (I didn’t use this)

50 g (2 oz) caster sugar

1 medium egg

milk to mix

 

Heat oven to 200ºC, 400ºF, Gas Mark 6. Grease two baking trays.

Mix the flour and salt, rub in the margarine.

Stir in the dried fruit, mixed peel and sugar.

Mix to a stiff dough with egg and milk.

Place in rough heaps on the baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Warning/Disclaimer – Please be aware that once you try this recipe your family, friends and your own taste buds will hound you for more, so do so at your own risk.  I take no responsibility for the financial cost of having to buy ingredients over and over again, nor will I take responsibility for weight gain caused by eating the rock buns by the batch when your loved ones are not looking.

 

 

 

 

 

Mojo.

I’d say that the past couple of months have been the smoothest in my blogging life.  If anything I just didn’t have the time to post all I wanted to.

But now…….I’ve lost my blogging mojo.  I was in denial at first, blaming a busy life.  But who was I kidding? I’ve always been busy!  I faced up to reality when I was about to publish a post about making popcorn. I kid you not.  There was no quirky anecdote to go along with it, no crazy I-nearly-burnt-the-kitchen-down story, not even a so-awesome-it-would-blow-your-mind recipe to share.  Just a handful of corn kernels in a pan.  I do write some random posts but mostly they’ll be somewhat meaningful, if only to me.  There is no meaning to my popcorn making.

I recently read about a crazy art gallery that was showing plain white canvasses.  It looked something like this:

 

As I wallow in my writing funk, I will consider Perhaps publishing some posts with no words.

My mums on her way over from Yorkshire to help out while The Husband goes to the Isle of Man for a couple days (I can’t believe he gets to go on an aeroplane and I don’t.  Yes I’m that childish, and yes I am that person that gets giddy at the airport).  Maybe she’ll find my writing mojo wandering aimlessly as she drives over here.

gross.

So I was sorting through a load of stuff in our bedroom yesterday afternoon with Ruby.  She wasn’t sorting through, she was creating more stuff to sort through, but she was happy so we were onto a winner.  I knew i had to sort through the basket under my bed where i keep stuff like deodorant, body lotion and hair spray.  where do other people keep this stuff?! Do all people have a whicker basket under their bed?? Anyhow, I came across a nit comb.  The girls were invaded by those awful, hateful little mini-beasts in the autumn and I went on the offence, combing and combing until the girls couldn’t sit still any longer. Uh, they make me cringe.  The nits, not my girls.

Although I check the girls hair regularly by parting their hair and searching for eggs, it had been a while since I’d used the comb.  Ruby was sitting in front of me and so I absent-mindedly ran it through Ruby’s hair.  And just as I was about to put it back in the basket…..yes.  There was one in all its creepy crawly glory.

imagesCAWGMOLU

 

(note I hate these things so much I had to wait until I finished the whole post to find and stick on a picture because I couldn’t bare to look at it more than i had to!)

I couldn’t react in front of Ruby but there was lots of shrieking in my head.  I wiped the comb onto a tissue and crushed it into smithereens .  I called mum-in-law who brought over some special shampoo straight away.  I inspected the WHOLE of Ruby’s hair.  She has fine hair so it didn’t take too long.  Outcome: Not a thing.  No other crawlers.  No eggs.  So that crawler that I found completely by chance must have jumped on board only hours before.  I didn’t take any chances and still doused her hair in that special shampoo.  So now, after three hair washes she still has the worlds greasiest hair. 

I went through Chloe’s long thick locks too and there was no sign of life there. RELIEF.

I’m so glad I happened to come across that comb!! The thought of….I’m not even going to go there.

Moral of the story.  Sort out your basket from under your bed.

cherish.

Sigh.  I don’t know where to start.  Around about a month ago I signed up late for Cherish2012.  It’s a women’s conference.  First off I signed up when I was still in so much pain I couldn’t balance all the meds I had to take.  Crazy I know.  Plus – I’m not the women’s conference ‘type’.  I thought there’d be lots of…’fluff’, you know? I can’t explain it, just fluffy stuff. AND I’m so rubbish around people I don’t know very well.  It’s like I’m socially schizophrenic, I turn from a confident woman into a ridiculously immature introvert that forgets the art of conversation.  So why I jumped at the chance to go to Cherish only God knows.

But it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I’m not good with numbers (and these are poor images taken on the balcony) but this gives you a good idea of how many girls came to hang out for a weekend.

DSCF3005-001DSCF3006

What grabbed my heart straight away was the effort that went into making us feel welcome and important.  There were so many ‘little details’ that I couldn’t begin mention everything.  They covered the place with tiny butterflies, paper pom-poms and a big message for everyone walking through the car park.

DSCF3029

 

DSCF3024DSCF3025

DSCF3030DSCF3022DSCF3026

 

No massive reason for it, just to love us, appreciate us and embrace all things girlie.  Each woman at the conference received a gift, delivered by a team of amazing suited-up guys who served us the whole weekend (the gift was a veeeery pretty candle holder).

 

DSCF3013

Gifts – and no strings, it’s pretty counter-cultural right?! And another thing – no ‘fluff’ in sight!! Just a team of ordinary (but very annointed!) women who love Jesus pouring truth, affirmation and a spiritual ‘kick-up-the-butt’ to hundreds (?) of other ordinary woman that love Jesus too.

We even had a free afternoon to head into Bradford city centre for a bit of retail therapy!

DSCF3009

Becky didn’t go for the batman top in the end Smile.  I shared the weekend with a handful of women – some that I already knew well, others not very well at all.  I came home loving every single one of them, and blessed that I get to do life with these lovely ladies.DSCF3018DSCF3020

I couldn’t think how to get this picture in – but it can’t not, its too funny! Yes that is two grown women sitting in the boot.

DSCF3001

 

I ‘ve gone through the notes I made from the weekend and I’m committing to work through them over and over until they’ve settled nicely into my mind and my heart.  A weekend that made you feel special, where you are able to just be filled up afresh, spend time with some awesome friends and enjoy some ‘ mummy-off-duty’ time – Even the pain in my back couldn’t spoil it.

On the closing evening I had a tap on my shoulder only to turn around and see my old youth pastor standing in front of me.  Tears, laughter and lots of hugs followed and it was the perfect end to a very memorable and special weekend.

 

 

DSCF3016